When everything is done on a for-profit model, cost-cutting is always the easiest and fastest way to hit the bottom line. When you're a military contractor, one way to do this is to not be too picky about who you hire, and not spend money looking into their backgrounds. And when you're a government that hires that company, well, we now see the consequences. If you missed Rachel's take on this, watch it now:
How on earth does Aaron Alexis get a security clearance, when most of us would be denied one based on that party we went to in 1978? NYT:
When officers came to his hotel room early on Aug. 7, Mr. Alexis told them that a person he had argued with at an airport in Virginia “has sent three people to follow him” and that they were harassing him with a microwave machine, according to a Newport, R.I., police report. Mr. Alexis said he had heard “voices speaking to him through the wall, flooring and ceiling,” the report said.
Mr. Alexis told the police he was a Navy contractor, and then twice that month he sought treatment from the Veterans Affairs Department for psychiatric issues, according to a senior law enforcement official. But it did not raise a red flag that might have prevented him from entering the military base in Washington where, the authorities say, he killed 12 people on Monday.
The episode in Rhode Island adds to a growing list of questions about how Mr. Alexis, who had a history of infractions as a Navy reservist, mental health problems and run-ins with the police over gun violence, gained and kept a security clearance from the Defense Department that gave him access to military bases, including the navy yard, where he was shot to death by the police.
Time and again, Mr. Alexis’s behavior fell below a level that would have brought a serious response, like a less-than-honorable discharge from the military or involuntary commitment to a mental institution, experts and officials said.
I'm sorry, but it should not take an extensive government review to realize that a guy who hears voices speaking at him through the walls, floors, and ceiling sent by someone he argued with at an airport is a paranoid schizophrenic who should probably not have access to firearms. But we are living in a country populated by people who are so terrified because there is a black man in the White House who believes poor people should have access to health care, that they feel twenty dead children in Newtown, a disabled Congresswoman, people killed while sitting in a movie theatre, Sikhs practicing their freedom of religion, and many you didn't hear about -- 62 in the last thirty years with over 10% of those JUST THIS YEAR -- is a small price to pay for their ability to amass an arsenal that they think will "protect" them against a government that has drones.
I can't speak for anyone else, but when I realize that I live in a country where there are actually people who think George Zimmerman, a sociopath who is clearly just waiting for his own appropriately flashy opportunity to go out in a blaze of glory, is a hero; where on a cable news station a so-called "pundit" argues for the rights of blind people to carry guns and a state actually passes a law that says this is perfectly OK; I wonder how or if we can ever restore sanity to this place. Because somehow I think the fact that Jesus didn't return in December 2012 has so unhinged them that they think if they can just allow enough people who ought not to have firearms the opportunity to have them, that somehow Jesus will decide to make his appearance. And even if he does, they'll probably shoot him under "Stand your ground" after he reminds them of how they have sullied his name.
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